Department Climate

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This page will feature resources for department leaders and members to understand key factors to a positive, warm, inclusive department climate;  how to talk about climate; and how to take actionable steps to sustain positive workplace environments. 

The Lehigh ADVANCE surveys, and numerous external studies, have demonstrated that one of the biggest factors linked with faculty retention and job satisfaction is the climate in the academic department. This held true even for interdiscilpinary scholars.  Department chairs have the unique position to manage and establish department norms and practices which support all of its members. 

Lehigh Department Chairs 2020-2021

Chairs Orientation Slides- What does chair capacity building mean?

Lehigh Faculty on What they wished their department chairs to know Climate surveys, Kardia Evaluation of ADVANCE, and personal anecdotes help department chairs understand the experiences of people with historically underrepresented identities and find ways to build postiive cultures. 

The Department Chair as Transformative Diversity Leader, by Edna Chun and Avin Evans. This is a good reference for understanding the capacity of the department chair to be a leader of diversity, equity and inclusion. A copy of this book is in the ADVANCE Center Library. 

Inclusive Department Best Practices- UMASS ADVANCE

Enhancing Department Climate: A Guide for Department Chairs- University of Wisconsin, WISELI

Engaging Everyone in the Life of the Department-a matrix to support inclusion and transparency, The UW–Madison Office for Strategic Consulting developed a matrix that department chairs can use or customize when assigning departmental members to committees and roles in order to ensure that opportunities are well-distributed.

CASE Studies from CCAS

Faculty Service Equity and Transparency: In November 2018, Lehigh convened a summit exploring strategies to value and make transparent the contributions to service and engagement.  Research and thought pieces relevant to creating equitable workloads (often the responsibility of the chair) include: